Boston

Boston in 1910

Population: 670,585 in 1910

Boston has long been the gateway into the New World from the Old World, one of the premiere seaports on the eastern coast of the United States. Indeed, it has remained a centre of arts, industry, and culture renowned throughout the world. The presence of numerous colleges, including Harvard, Boston College, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as the historical importance of Boston’s role in the Revolutionary War have co-operated to keep the up-and-coming New York City from completely eclipsing the city.

Boston was founded by Puritans, and the city is still affected by that legacy. Indeed, the city officials have the ability to prevent distribution of any literary work, motion picture, or play that they find offensive, and the phrase “Banned in Boston” has become something of mark of pride among certain groups of publishers, artists, and distributors.

Boston is also the site of the last recognized religious martyrdom in North America. Mary Dyer, a Quaker, was hanged on Boston Common in 1660 for repeatedly defying an edict forbidding Quakers from entering the city.

On the flip side, Boston is also the home to the Church of Christ Scientist, founded in 1879 by Mary Baker Eddy, and was the site of The Boston Female Medical School, the first medical school for women, founded in 1848.

Discrimination did not end then, however. The Boston Brahmins and their upper-class ilk are currently bemoaning the huge influx of immigrants from Europe, most especially the Irish. Indeed, most postings for workers these days still carry the old NINA slogan: No Irish Need Apply. Despite this attitude, the immigrants are slowly winning ground, due mainly to numbers. Catholic churches are beginning to rival the Protestant ones in number, and more and more neighbourhoods have taken on distinctly different cultural aspects.

Not all of this assimilation is peaceful, however, as immigrant criminal gangs and families have become a real problem in areas like Charlestown and South Boston. These gangs tend to be small compared to their New York counterparts, and fairly low-key, involved mainly in gambling, petty theft, and robbery.

Neighbourhoods

Mystical Landscape

Many will-workers from Europe and Asia arrived first in Boston before pushing westward into the interior, or spreading out through New England.

Currently, the mages of Boston are dominated by two powerful cabals: the Stone Assembly and the Emerald Scroll. The Stone Assembly, an old-world cabal of Mysterium mages has held power for better than two hundred years, but the Emerald Scroll, dominated by the Guardians of the Veil have recently made significant inroads with the power elite in mundane local politics, and has been challenging the dominance of the older, more staid cabal.

Because of the strongly-traditional bent of the Stone Assembly, it only recognizes proper mages. This means well-to-do males who follow the ideals of Christianity and the enlightenment. Women, the working-classes, and (non-English) immigrants are generally told to leave the practice of magic to those better suited to it. Gentlemen from other Old-World cabals are, of course accorded the respect they are due, and they may admit who they choose to their cabals, but the Stone Assembly tends to view such radical excesses with disdain. Thus, Awakened Boston society is very much an old-boys’ club, dominated by the Stone Assembly, though the influence of the Emerald Scroll is shifting this.

The Emerald Scroll has grown significantly in power in the two decades it has been in Boston, thanks to the network of Masonic lodges, the control of the Golden Dawn local chapter, and the inroads among the Greek letter societies at most of the local colleges. With the promises of deeper initiation, and the labyrinthine tangle of associations, favours, contacts, and rumours, the Emerald Scroll has gathered a disproportionate number of newly-awakened mages under its banner. This is is bolstered by the mundane political and social influence gathered by their puppet secret societies, and forms one of the first credible threats to the current Consilium status-quo.

Rural Massachusetts is beyond the control of the local Consilium, being primarily dominated by an old cabal of the Stone Assembly’s cast-offs: female, lower-class, immigrant, and native mages. This group, the Ebon Noose, is far larger than the combined cabals of Boston, and holds sway over the a large portion of the state, including most rural areas, small towns and, more recently, the city of Salem.

Indeed, just a few years ago, a cabal of mages from Boston, the White Putnams, tried to claim Salem for themselves to expunge a curse that hung over the cabal for the role its founders played in the Salem Witch Trials. They sought to take possession of the town and responsibility for the wrongs done there. The Ebon Noose opposed them, and a vicious magical war waged for several months, ending quite suddenly with the White Putnams returning to Boston and the Ebon Noose claiming dominion over the rest of the state. The Stone Assembly, not powerful enough to oppose the Ebon Noose and not caring enough to call in allies, has allowed this situation to continue.

The Stone Assembly has its hands full in the city right now. They have started a vendetta against the local Seers of the Throne, seeking to drive the renegades from Harvard and the city. The Seers are fighting back with surprising vigour and effect, and the Stone Assembly is beginning to realize both that they might be overmatched and that they may not have the political power anymore to force the rest of the Consilium to aid them.

Into this mix come two new complications: the Free Council and the Bonehunters. The Free Council, newly-raised to the status of Order, has been poaching on the Emerald Scroll’s plans, using their own rumours and secret societies to fabricate a false Emerald Scroll, diverting a number of promising Sleepers, Sleepwalkers, and mages to their cause. Compared to this complicated plot to gain power, the Bonehunters are suprisingly straightforward. They are openly agitating for change and making outlandish claims of what they intend to do: reclaim Atlantis and, thereby, end the reign of the Exarchs.

Boston

Scio Occultus Res Grendel